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Nacro - Helping employers access the vast hidden talent pool of millions of people with convictions

By Guest Partner on 20 Oct 2015

Helping employers access the vast hidden talent pool of millions of people with convictions

Nacro, the crime reduction charity, has launched an innovative, pioneering project to improve future employment opportunities for the 10 million people in the UK affected by a criminal record.

The Aeneid Project, which kicked off this month with a safe and fair recruitment briefing in Luton, aims to provide local employers and organisations – who are often hesitant to employ people with criminal records - with the confidence and tools to access a vast, largely untapped talent pool of people struggling to find a job.

The initiative, which is currently being piloted in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire areas, is expected to roll out nationally.

A key part of the project involves Nacro’s dedicated Employer Advice Service providing free expert advice and support to employers large and small.

Dianah Worman OBE, Public Policy Advisor for Diversity at the CIPD, said:

“Many employers tend to be cautious about offering work to someone with a criminal record and some even operate blanket exclusion policies when recruiting. This approach is flawed. It is important that talented people have equal access to employment opportunities, regardless of their background. In order to achieve this, we must help employers understand their legal obligations so they can gain skilled and valuable employees.

“Our research shows how, contrary to common perceptions, in reality many employers’ experiences of employing ex-offenders have been positive. Retention rates are high and many ex-offenders are valuable and reliable employees.

This event marks the first step in working with employers at a local level that will eventually lead to stronger communities and a robust, diverse workforce.

To find out more about the project and how to access the advice and support available to employers, please visit the Nacro website